LOCAL OUTREACH

evangelism and Outreach

The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and the Great Commandment (Mark 12:28-31) compel us to reach out to our neighbors with the love of Jesus Christ and the message of the gospel. Here are some ways we can intentionally love our neighbors and share Jesus with them.

  • Personal Evangelism: Each individual Christian is called to personally be a witness of Jesus Christ to his or her surrounding community. Attend an evangelism training discussion group or Espresso Training for encouragement, prayer and practical help on how to better share the gospel with your neighbors, co-workers and friends.
  • Small Groups: Every College Church small group is committed to outreach. Join a small group to grow and study with fellow Christians, to pray for opportunities to share the gospel and to labor together to reach our community for Jesus.
  • One-to-one Bible study: One of the simplest ways to engage someone in spiritual topics is to read God's Word together. Pick up a copy of the gospel of Mark to read with a friend or neighbor over coffee (see One-to-One Bible Reading by David Helm for additional help).

EVANGELISM & PRAYER--Pray for Our Community. All outreach begins in prayer. Paul repeatedly commands and pleads with believers to pray that he would be strengthened by God’s power and receive open doors for gospel proclamation. Pray for your neighbors by name.

  • Pray individually and with your family.
  • Pray with another neighbor.
  • Pray with the congregation.

EVANGELISM & SERVICE--Meet and Serve Our Community. Acts of service should be closely combined with verbal testimony that Christ’s love is driving and empowering our service. Service leads to evangelism, evangelism leads to church planting. These constitute one integrated process, not three disconnected activities.

Meet Your Neighbors. This seems simple, but some of us need to take this simple step and actually meet our neighbors. We need to know their names, their children, their jobs, their interests and their needs. The more we know them, the better we can serve them.

To practically start this process you could

  • Invite neighbors over for a meal or coffee.
  • Host a theme-based get-together (Super Bowl, Memorial Day, etc).
  • Welcome those who are new to the neighborhood.
  • Plan a block party.

Serve Your Neighbors. The second greatest commandment is to love our neighbor, those people God has brought into our lives and with whom we regularly interact. 

EVANGELISM & STUDY--Invite and Study. Most evangelism happens in the context of ongoing relationships. Our outreach efforts should primarily encourage individuals to share the gospel naturally with their friends and colleagues.  From there, we hope to invite our friends to study the Bible.

Bible Study. The Bible teaches that God’s Word is “living and active, sharper than any two edged sword” and that God’s Word “never returns empty.” Studying the Bible is the primary way to know God better.

Small Groups. Groups open to seekers provide a place where they can study the Bible alongside believers, observe the love between believers and witness believers wrestling with the truth of the Bible for their lives. 

Q Place. This is a great model for small groups.  It allows people to respectfully and inquisitively dialogue about God, each other and what they believe. 

EVANGELISM & CHURCH GROWTH--Group Growth. As small groups outside the Wheaton area grow and multiply by the power of the Holy Spirit, these groups could form the nucleus of a new church plant(s). 

Gather and Grow through Church Planting. The church planting vision of College Church is to establish three new churches in the next nine years in communities with significant gospel need in the greater Chicago area.

Active Church Plants

  • Hope Fellowship: planted by Jeff Brewer in the Lombard / Villa Park / Elmhurst area (April of 2011)
  • New Covenant: planted by Douglas O’Donnell in Naperville (March of 2008)
  • Christ the King: planted by Ken Carr in Batavia (September of 2001)
  • Holy Trinity: planted by David Helm and Jon Dennis in Hyde Park, Chicago (May of 1998)

     Church Planting is an integral part of College Church’s vision. As stated in our initiatives, “[We are] committed to planting churches.” God has blessed College Church with significant resources of people, funding and expertise in order to effectively plant churches.

     It positively stretches our congregation to reach outward and depend upward.

     Church planting is an effective means of drawing unbelievers into the church.

What can you do?

  • Pray that the Lord may continue to sustain and grow the active church plants.
  • Start a Bible study in your community.
  • Assist one of the current church plants.